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Melanie Griffith BiographyMelanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957, in New York City to model Tippi Hedren and advertising executive and sometime actor Peter Griffith. Her parents' marriage ended in 1961 and Tippi came to Los Angeles to get a new start. Tippi caught the eye of the great director Alfred Hitchcock, who gave her starring roles in The Birds and Marnie. Tippi married her second husband, agent Noel Marshall, in 1964, and Melanie grew up with three stepbrothers.
Melanie Griffith also grew up with tigers and lions, as Tippi and Noel were raising them for the movie Roar, in which the family later starred. Melanie's acting career, however, began as a model at just nine months old and she later appeared as an extra in Smith! and The Harrad Experiment, where she fell in love with her mother's co-star, Don Johnson. She was only 14 years old, while he was a twice-divorced 22-year-old. Tippi took a very liberal approach and allowed Melanie to move in with Don at a tender age. Even though Melanie didn't like modeling, she continued to do it to pay the bills. One day she went to meet with director Arthur Penn for what she thought was a modeling assignment. It was actually an audition for his film Night Moves, and Penn gave her the role of a runaway nymphet, which got her noticed in Hollywood. She didn't really want to be an actress, but Johnson encouraged her to do it. She agreed but was terrified of performing in front of the camera. Penn took a paternal interest in her, and she felt confident and gave a riveting performance, doing racy nude scenes. It immediately typecast her and led to more nymphet roles, with her beautiful nude body a permanent fixture in most of these films. She also married Johnson, but it ended shortly after-wards, possibly because her early movie success outshone his.
Unfortunately, as her career progressed, she became increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol and she acquired such a reputation because of the effects of her substance abuse that she found that studio executives weren't considering her for film roles anymore. She started doing television work, where she met her second husband, Steven Bauer, on the set of the TV movie She's in the Army Now. He helped her to overcome her drug and alcohol problems and got her to take acting classes with Stella Adler in New York. The classes paid off, as director Brian De Palma cast her as a porno actress in his murder mystery Body Double and her sexy, funny performance won her rave reviews and the Best Supporting Actress Award by the National Society of Film Critics. Jonathan Demme was so impressed with her performance that he gave her the title role in Something Wild without even auditioning her. The film became a cult favorite, with Melanie again getting critical plaudits.
The birth of her first child, Alexander, in 1985, didn't help to save her struggling marriage, and she and Bauer divorced shortly thereafter. Melanie reconciled briefly with first husband Don Johnson, and he directed her in a guest appearance on his hit TV series Miami Vice in 1987, before they again went their separate ways. Melanie's career skyrocketed when Mike Nichols cast her in the title role of Working Girl, a box-office hit for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Comedy. However, her ongoing substance abuse problems almost destroyed her career yet again, and Nichols pushed her into a rehabilitation clinic. En route to the clinic she called ex-husband Johnson for support, and they reconciled after her release from the clinic. She got pregnant and they remarried in 1989, and soon thereafter their daughter Dakota Johnson was born. A sober Melanie concentrated on her film career, but the films she chose often flopped badly, especially The Bonfire of the Vanities. Even though she gave heartfelt performances in all her films, she was often miscast, with her breathy little-girl voice not helping matters in her role as a spy in Shining Through and as a homicide detective going undercover in the Hassidic Jewish community in New York City in A Stranger Among Us.
She made a minor comeback with her supporting role as a desperate housewife in Nobody's Fool, reuniting her with Bruce Willis, her co-star in "Bonfire", and Paul Newman, her co-star from The Drowning Pool. Her personal life was making headlines again, though, as she left Johnson because of his own substance-abuse problems, reconciled with him briefly when he became sober, only to leave him again, this time for Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much. Both she and Banderas created a scandal in 1995 with their torrid romance, and the tabloids followed their every move, including her divorce from Johnson and his divorce from wife Ana Leza. Melanie became pregnant with her third child, and she and Banderas married in 1996. Their daughter Stella was born, and the notorious couple were forgiven by the public and the media. Melanie won strong reviews in independent films like Another Day in Paradise and the made-for-cable TV movie RKO 281, in which she played actress Marion Davies, a part that garnered her an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Melanie became dependent to pain killers, however, and wrote about her struggle and recovery in her journal on her official website. Greenmoon Productions, the production company that she formed with Banderas, produced several flops, such as her starring vehicle Crazy in Alabama, directed by Banderas. Her career took another blow when her TV series, Me & George, never even aired. As a result, film and television offers dried up.
In 2003 she turned to the Broadway stage and emerged with a rave review from the New York Times theater critic and packed houses for her turn as the murderess Roxie in the musical "Chicago". It renewed her confidence, as she had never sang, danced or been on the Broadway stage before. In 2005 she surprised viewers by playing a sexy mom to two grown women in the TV series Twins. Since 1996 she has been married to Antonio Banderas, and the couple has one daughter. Banderas and Griffith are involved in many charities, including raising funds for her mother Tippi Hedren's Shambala preserve, a refuge for wild animals.
SalaryMilk Money (1994): $2,000,000
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990): $1,000,000
TriviaHer mother, Tippi Hedren, recently stated that the miniature doll of Hedren given to Melanie by Alfred Hitchcock was not intended to be a prank by the director. He merely wanted to give Melanie a beautiful doll with her mother's image, but it happened that the doll was in a wooden box. When Melanie received the gift, she freaked out and became upset thinking that it was indeed meant to be her mother in a coffin. She has three children, one with each of her three husbands - Alexander Bauer (b. 1985) with Steven Bauer, Dakota Johnson (b. 1989) with Don Johnson and Stella Banderas (b. 1996) with Antonio Banderas. Daughter of Peter Griffith and Tippi Hedren. Auditioned for the title role in Carrie (1976) that eventually went to Sissy Spacek. Real-life daughters Dakota Johnson and Stella Banderas appear as her character's daughters in the 1999 film Crazy in Alabama (1999) directed by her husband Antonio Banderas. She was unable to star in The Sheltering Sky (1990) and As Good as It Gets (1997) because of pregnancies. Coincidentally, she bears the same first name as her mother Tippi Hedren's most well-known role, Melanie Daniels, from the 1963 Hitchcock film, The Birds (1963). Was eighteen when she married Don Johnson for the first time. He was eight years older than she, and they met on the set of her mother's film The Harrad Experiment (1973). She turned down femme-fatale roles in hit films that went to Anjelica Huston in The Grifters (1990), Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise (1991) and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992), because they were dark and edgy, and instead accepted the femme fatale role in the comedy misfire The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). Her father is English and her mother is half Swedish, 1/4 German and 1/4 Norwegian. First "Miss Golden Globe" to win a Golden Globe herself She and her daughter Dakota Johnson are the only mother-daughter- couple to be "Miss Golden Globe" Her French dubbing voice Dorothée Jemma is also the French dubbing voice of Sheryl Lee and Jennifer Aniston. Was considered to play Emmeline in The Blue Lagoon (1980), but she was too old for the character. Brooke Shields got the part. Was offered the role of Lynn Bracken in L.A. Confidential (1997), that eventually went to Kim Basinger. Checked into the Cirque Lodge in Utah for rehab treatments [August 24, 2009]. Same place where Kirsten Dunst and Lindsay Lohan spent time in recent years. Stepdaughter of Martin Dinnes.
Source provided by imdb (Copyright) - The Internet Movie Database.